If you want to mingle with the very, very rich, head to the other side of the pond – there are now more billionaires in Europe than in North America.
Europe counts 775 billionaires, totaling $2.37 trillion in combined wealth, according to the new Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 released Tuesday. In North America, there are 609 billionaires worth about the same as those in Europe.
Globally, the billionaire population has reached a record 2,325 people, which is a 7 percent increase from 2013. Their total net worth of $7.3 trillion is 12 percent higher than last year’s net worth and higher than the combined market capitalization of all the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
“North America—the region with the most billionaire wealth in 2013—was overtaken by Europe in terms of billionaire wealth in this year’s census,” said the report. However, the U.S. maintains its position as the world’s top billionaire country, with 571 billionaires in 2014.
Here are other countries with a high concentration of billionaires:
United Kingdom: 130
Hong Kong: 82
Saudi Arabia: 57
Asia saw the largest billionaire wealth increase in the past year, with that net worth growing 18.7 percent and the billionaire population increasing by 10 percent. There are 52 new entrants in the club, including 33 from China.
In the Middle East, there are fewer billionaires than a year ago but those who can still claim the status are getting richer, as the total billionaires’ worth increased by 16.7 percent. A similar trend was seen in Africa.
The typical billionaire globally is over 55 years old (the average age is 64 for men and 61 for women). The individual is most likely to be a man, with his wealth concentrated in the ownership of companies, whether public or private.
Billionaires are typically married, but while the men are mostly self made, the majority of women billionaires have inherited their wealth.
One key takeaway from the report on billionaires’ lifestyle is that they are usually transnational and urban-focused – with a particular affection for the Big Apple. New York City has the highest concentration of billionaires globally, counting 103, and is followed by Moscow (85), Hong Kong (82) and London (72). In the U.S., New York is followed by Los Angeles (25), San Francisco (20) and Chicago (18).
“The formation of such hotspots is indicative of the global nature of the billionaire lifestyle,” the report noted. “Billionaires travel for business and leisure, and are no longer content to remain in their hometowns. They are truly global citizens, seeking out the best locations for their families and their businesses.”
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